President starts building work at Abu Dhabi site
5 November 2007

Ferrari's never-ending push to be a global brand more than a car manufacturer continues apace: the firm's president Luca Di Montezemolo has just laid the foundation stone for the Ferrari Theme Park in the United Arab Emirates.

Di Montzezmolo joined Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, the chairman of developer ALDAR Properties, at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi. The complex, which is set to open in 2009, will include a race circuit - the home of the Abu Dhabi F1 race - along with hi-tech theatres for children, driving schools, amusement rides and, one assumes, a shop for Ferrari baseball caps and other merchandise.

However, rumours that the theme park will also include a mock FIA courtroom, to immerse visitors in all the excitement of Ferrari's victory in this year's F1 world championship, are said to be wide of the mark.

In the ceremony, di Montezemolo buried a time capsule containing engine parts from one of this year's F1 cars, and an artist's impression of how the theme park will look. He said, "This is a very special year for Ferrari. I am particularly proud to be present to mark the symbolic start of this great project. Moreover, 2007 is the year of Ferrari’s 60th anniversary, and this Ceremony has therefore a further, important meaning."

The Middle East is an increasingly important market for Ferrari; it is due to open showrooms in Oman and Lebanon before the end of this year.

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